Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Piedmont Behavioral Health (smack! slurp!): How Can We Help You Out re: Collapsed New River LME (AND SHRED YOUR PUBLIC RECORDS LAWS)

There's a very good article by Richard Craver of the Winston-Salem Journal re: what amounts to a hostile take-over bid by Piedmont Behavioral Health (PBH) of New River LME, recently accused of 'Medicaid Fraud.' PBH wants to magnanimously offer that they have many good solutions to all these mettlesome LME's and would like for you to look at their latest rendering of the Trojan Horse. This is my reply to Mr. Craver's article and it is online with other like-minded comments:

"Group has ideas for health services"


Here are my comments re: what PBH is proposing:

Do NC lawmakers want to see the Public Records law shredded? That is the question we are presented with here, basically.

Mr. Craver's article outlined the following points: "Rebecca Troutman, the intergovernmental relations director for the N.C. Association of County Commissioners, said the association "sees a need for a study committee to review the statute in its entirety, given that the statutes are woefully out of date."

Excuse me, county commissioners-----overseers of the LME's-----you already have your information from the UNC Chapel Hill School of Government, rendered several months ago by Mark Botts in association with colleagues there, due to the persistent efforts of the Western Highlands Network LME Board who tried to back away from this (new! expanded!) version of hostile health take-over bid by Piedmont Behavioral Health, all the while having their heads held to the stink by the board's attorney telling them the board would be 'eaten alive' by PBH because NC DHHS was driving that PBH car, or at least sitting in the passenger seat. The WHN LME Board finally concluded it had to cave. And so here we have the PBH monster, fat and gluttonous after having rammed through its 'Non Disclosure Agreement' as per the WHN LME Board----now intending to do this at a state level. Is there no one here who can rid us of this troublesome LME and its head, Betty Taylor?

Here is what that School of Government attorney states re: PBH's hostile take-over 'mutual agreement' contract they floated to the WHN LME Board like a Trojan Horse in June, 2011:
(Published in its entirety, as passed to the public at the WHN LME June, 2011, Board meeting, and at my NC Mental Health Reform blogspot, June, 2011):

Saturday, June 25, 2011UNC Chapel Hill's Institute of Government Outlines Problems w/ Non Disclosure Agreement Driving Medicaid Waiver

".....To put it another way, the PBH non-disclosure agreement does not appear to strike the harmonious balance between public records law and copyright law that is described in the Seago case. The PBH non-disclosure agreement, at paragraph 3,b., not only restricts the subsquent commercial use or distribution of records received by LME's but has the recipient LMEs promise that they will not, without the prior written consent of PBH, "copy, use or disclose" any information that "has value in PBH's business," remove the information from the premises of the LME, or "deliver" any information "to any person or entity outside the LME." (LME contractors are excepted from this promise). The terms of the agreement appear to prohibit the LME that receives PBH records from providing public access to the records under the state public records law. Thus, the LME that signs the agreement appears to agree that it will not only protect the records from commercial use and distribution, but also that is will not comply with the North Carolina Public Records Act. ,,,,"

So, working w/ PBH = shredding of public records law = inability of consumers/ clients to obtain medical records efficiently and to hold accountable the LME.

Oh, boy, PBH certainly does have some terrific suggestions and the only reason they have gotten this far is that they are being tacitly supported by Lanier Cansler at NC DHHS. Remember: Mr. Cansler has not always been a public servant and will not remain one either.

Oh, did I say: WE NEED A ONE PAYER SYSTEM and that means a Federal system, such as Medicare/ Medicaid---not these bits and pieces of managers run amuck, amassing CEO salaries, not being held legally accountable. I say, 'Let's Occupy PBH.'

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD, Licensed Psychologist


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